Big men

Candid comments about the latest Republican messiah.

Appearance matters in politics, for male and female candidates. But it is an inescapable fact of political life that for female candidates, appearance matters more. Successful female politicians needn’t be model-thin, but cringe-at-the-thought-of-sitting-next-to-them-on-an-airplane levels of obesity are rare among women in politics. In a potential presidential candidate, being as fat as Christie would be unimaginable for a woman.

More astroturf at the Tea Party

And they don't even know they're walking on it:

American Majority will be joining Heritage Action for America of North Carolina to conduct a grassroots activist training session in Concord, North Carolina on Saturday, October 22nd.

In case you're wondering, that "grassroots activism" included recruiting and inciting hundreds of nut-jobs to threaten counter-demonstrate against public employees in Wisconsin who were trying to defend their collective bargaining rights. Here's more about American Majority:

The Koch Brothers brand of patriotism

Art Pope's best friends, the Koch Brothers, turn out to be terrorist-loving traitors. No big surprise. Hat tip to Dave Ribar for the story.

A Bloomberg Markets investigation has found that Koch Industries -- in addition to being involved in improper payments to win business in Africa, India and the Middle East -- has sold millions of dollars of petrochemical equipment to Iran, a country the U.S. identifies as a sponsor of global terrorism.

New Yorker takes note of Art Pope's takeover of North Carolina

According to Taegan Goddard at Political Wire, this is a must read.

Of course, James has been saying all of this for the past six years. The New Yorker dedicated ten pages in the online edition to the piece. I can't wait to see it in print.

Even some North Carolinians associated with Jesse Helms think that Pope has gone too far. Jim Goodmon, the president and C.E.O. of Capitol Broadcasting Company, which owns the CBS and Fox television affiliates in Raleigh, says, “I was a Republican, but I’m embarrassed to be one in North Carolina because of Art Pope.”

The Future They Feared

We were sitting in a Waffle House in Staunton, Virginia discussing the state of the nation over breakfast. I had just read an Ed Kilgore column in Salon  about the nationwide Republican war on voting rights, and the conservative debate over whether voting is even a right or not.

As I am standing in line to pay my tab, a African-American man in his forties slides into an occupied booth next to the register and sits opposite an older white man.

EPA report connects Lejeune water with cancer cluster

The long road to treatment and reconciliation may be winding down:

The report, released Thursday, found that exposure to TCE, short for trichloroethylene, is convincingly linked to kidney cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and liver cancer, with more limited evidence that it causes bladder, esophageal, prostate, cervical, and breast cancers, as well as childhood leukemia. According to the findings, all routes of exposure can be carcinogenic to humans.

Delays and "inconclusive" studies are (unfortunately) not uncommon in cases like this; there's always some entity willing to spend time and money fighting against responsible action. But when it's our own government doing such, and the victims are veterans and their families, it's especially revolting:

Occupied

#OCCUPYWALLSTREET is a people powered movement for democracy that began in America on September 17 with an encampment in the financial district of New York City. Inspired by the Egyptian Tahrir Square uprising and the Spanish acampadas, we vow to end the monied corruption of our democracy … join us!

I'm down with that vow. You should be too.

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